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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

They Started It.

'Half-Million Dollar Debate - Richmond.com

This was the Mayor's claim, sounding more like a school kid caught in a playground fight than a city mayor. This was his justification for spending 1/2 million to move the school board out of City Hall during the Friday Night Fiasco, which was more like a mini coup de tat than helpful assist to the School Board. City Hall was closed and surrounded by police while moving vans moved in after hours and hauled the School Board off to new quarters on West Broad lock, stock and barrel. Only a midnight order by a judge brought the move to a halt and all was returned back to City Hall, but hardly in it's original condition.

This all came out in last night's special committee meeting to investigate the move. Wilder who considers both Council and City Auditor, Umesh Dalal, as beneath him used the meeting to dispute the auditors intitial report and question his objectivity. When the mayor attends council meetings he is extended every courtesy, but he hardly reciprocates, coming and going at will and attending only when it suits his purposes. I quote,

"When I appear with City Council, I appear with the words of the city charter that enable me to speak and I don't have to wait, Ms. Robertson, to participate,"

His justification for the move quoting from the article again, Wilder said council's eviction committee can "do what it wants to do," but that he thought the school system wanted to move", is so disingenous as to be ludicrous. The School Board had shown no signs of moving it's administrative offices and had clearly indicated it wanted to stay, at least for the time being. City Council had also passed an ordinance allowing them to stay indefinitely. Wilder had already indicated the reason for his late night shenanigans and that was "because he said so", in other words, he said the school board was going to leave and by God they were going to leave, either willingly or kicking and screaming. As it turns out it was illegally.

One can only hope we will be through with this mess with the election of a new mayor next year. I wouldn't put it past the Mayor to run again, but I think he will have to fit his campaigning in between court appearance and law suits. I find it hard to believe that Richmond hasn't had enough of him, but one only need look at New Orleans and Ray Nagin to see that nothing is so outrageous as to disqualify someone from elected office if he can pull enough strings, play the race card deftly and present himself as the people's champion. The one person who hasn't lost confidence in Mayor Wilder is the Mayor himself and as long as he thinks he is God's gift to Richmond, anything is possible.

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